Last modified 18/06/08 16:39:20

Welcome to the SPIRE project site

The project has now completed: Download the  final report here

Looking into the feasibility of peer-to-peer working in further and higher education.

The SPIRE project will tackle policy, middleware and software issues to facilitate a community of authenticated peer-2-peer early adopters within UK HEIs. The SPIRE project is run by  TALL in partnership with  Penn State University funded by  the JISC.

Please contact if you are interested in using authenticated peer-2-peer in your institution or if you have a technical question.

Latest Developments

  • Here is version 1.0 of the survey report with analysis.
  • Take a look at some of the results from the  online tool use survey which got circa 1400 respondents.
  • SPIRE changes direction to focus on the use of Web 2.0 technology as this is where most 'informal sharing' takes place online. See the SPIRE change report for the details of the new direction.


  •  Take a look at the slides I used when I gave an online talk in the web-conference supporting the JISC study on the use of Web 2.0 content sharing in learning and teaching. The talk focused on policy and strategy implications for universities. (2007-05-03)
  • Download a power point of the talk given to the Universities Association for Lifelong Learning which drew on the SPIRE survey results 2007-05-02
  • Speaker at the 'Would you care to share?' symposium at ALTC in September 06 Download a pdf of the handout
  •  Link to a powerpoint and mp3 of the SPIRE talk relating to the possible use of P2P as the quickest was to disseminate research findings from the 'hard drive' to the wider web. Given to the CETIS Metadata and Digital Repositories Sig, Bath 2006-06-28.
  • Download a power point of the SPIRE talk relating to institutions possible relationship with 'Web 2.0' type technologies, including P2P given at an Oxford University 'ITSS' talk 2006-05-25.
  • Download a power point of the SPIRE talk relating to the concepts of formal and informal repositories given at the Digital Repositories Workshop in Edinburgh 2006-05-22.

Official Documentation

For clarity the project has been split into three main areas: Policy, Application and Technical



  • University of Oxford allow limited use of Skype P2P system!  Click here for official policy. This is because of pressure from numerous groups around the University and probably because the content is transitory and does not need tracking or archiving (i.e. conversations)

More on Policy...



  • Users like to have control over who they share materials to. Does LionShare provide enough flexibility in this area?
  • Would users 'Onion Skin' materials out to ever wider groups is they got positive feedback / comments at each stage?
  • Should LionShare have an annotation feature to support feedback and comments?

  • Read the Narrative Use Cases proposed by the SPIRE project for P2P usage in academic institutions.

More on Application...


  • Should collaborative systems always be 'push' rather than 'pull' systems? An early Personal Learning Environment  Colloquia used the push nature of email. Many of the new wave of 'participatory' services use RSS and ATOM to push to the user.

More on technical...

Information about Trac

For a complete list of local wiki pages, see TitleIndex.